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Kenya

Aukot accuses ‘selfish politicians’ of frustrating his referendum Bill

Third Way Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot when he met Nairobi MCAs at City Hall. Photo/JEMIMMAH MUENI.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – Third Way Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot has hit out at politicians opposed to his Punguza Mizigo Bill terming, saying they are beneficiaries of corruption.

Aukot said those criticizing his initiative have not “even read” it and are afraid because it has consequences on their political future.

“Why do they seem to hate the idea of empowering their own people at the Ward level? Is this because they want Kenyans to remain in abject poverty so that they can continue exploiting them politically for their selfish gains?,” he posed, at a meeting to sensitize Members of Nairobi County Assembly on Wednesday.

Aukot’s Bill has faced opposition from major parties, with leadership from both houses asking MCAs to reject it.

The High Court has already issued temporary orders barring MCAs in the 47 counties from debating or approving it until a petition filed is heard and determined.

Aukot said he is convinced that the same selfish politicians opposing his initiative, are the sponsors of petitions against the Bill in Court.

“Raila, Kalonzo, Aden Duale and Moses Wetangula are on record telling Kenyans to reject Punguza Mzigo as we wait for their ongeza mzigo proposals. We are now more than convinced that they are sponsors of the frivolous petitions against the Bill in court,” Aukot claimed.

Aukot’s Bill seeks to reduce the number of Members of Parliament and take development funds to the wards among other changes in the Constitution.

If the initiative is adopted into law, each ward will receive more than 200 million shillings annually since the revenue allocated to Counties would be increased from current 15 per cent to 35 per cent.

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The Bill requires support from 24 Counties before it is taken to the National Assembly for further scrutiny and debate.

Aukot has so far received 17 invitations from different County Assembly speakers, with Nakuru so far being the first county whose members have shown interest to embrace the change.

When meeting Members of Muranga County Assembly on Tuesday , Aukot made it clear that his initiative is not in competition with the Building Bridges Initiative which was formed following the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in March last year.

Aukot is slated to meet MCAs in Embu and Garissa this week.

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